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You may be subject to a $500-per-day zoning contravention fine.
Every business within the city of Nelson is required to hold a valid business licence, including those that provide short-term accommodation. This licence must be renewed annually and can be applied for in-person at City Hall. Please consult the application forms above. A safety inspection of the premises will be required.
This depends on the type of STR rental that you are providing (guest room, guest suite or guest home) as well as the length of licence (annual, summer or 31 day). Please consult the application form and its fee schedule for more information.
Income tax is generally levied on secondary income. When someone offers four or more accommodation units for short-term rental, those sales will generally be subject to provincial sales tax and the 2% municipal and regional district tax. The provincial Strata Act may also come into effect in situations where a short-term rental unit is being offered in a strata property. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver offers a helpful article on the laws that short-term rentals are subject to in British Columbia.
Municipalities in British Columbia do not have the jurisdiction to create a sales tax. The 2% municipal and regional district tax (MRDT) is levied on hotel room visits by the provincial government. In Nelson and area any accommodation providing four units of accommodation or more for short-term rental is required to collect a 2% MRDT on all accommodation charges. This money is paid to the Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism agency and used exclusively for the purposes of marketing the region. The four-room requirement only applies if those rooms are serviced (i.e. have electricity). Any person who offers less than four units of accommodation or charges $30 or less per day is exempt. By this definition, not all short-term rental properties are subject to the MRDT. Only if one individual manages four or more units across British Columbia are they then required to collect the MRDT.
Property tax assessment is outside of a municipality’s authority. BC Assessment is responsible for assessing the tax required of each property in the province. BC Assessment may not be aware that commercial activity is taking place on a given property, especially if no business is registered at that address. Calculations are also based on the land-use regulations that apply to the property in question (i.e. residential or commercial) and whether it is used as a primary residence or not. For example, many bed and breakfasts are assessed as residential property.
This varies case by case. You are strongly advised to consult with a licensed insurance broker. Canadian media reports indicate that many residential insurance policies are void if commercial activities like short-term renting take place. This includes both property damage and liability insurance.
You are required to provide off-street parking for your short-term rental. The number of stalls is identified in the Off-Street Parking and Landscape Bylaw No. 3274, 2013.
If you cannot provide off-street parking stalls, you may also apply for a development permit variance. The fee for this is $500, and it includes notification to all landowners within 60 metres, a report to Council, and a decision of Council on the variance.
If you are renting a room in a home (a “roommate”) or an entire home, there are no restrictions, provided that the room is rented to one individual continuously for at least one month. Even if you use a short-term rental platform to rent the space, it is considered a long-term rental and is governed by the provincial Residential Tenancy Act. In the case of a secondary suite (a dwelling unit provided within and accessory to a single-detached dwelling unit), the secondary suite must be a legal suite.